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Salem sacks W. Lincoln

In a battle between winless Region 4-1A rivals, the visitingSalem Wildcats knocked off the West Lincoln Bears 56-14 Fridaynight at Perry Miller Field. It was a victorious homecoming forfirst-year Salem coach Willie Brumfield who coached the Bears in2002.

West Lincoln is 0-6 overall and 0-7 in the region. Salemimproved to 1-5 on the season and in its region.

“I want to send my congratulations to Salem for getting theirfirst win this season,” said West Lincoln head coach Brooks Burns.”But for us, we came out flat and were not ready to play. We got ina hole early and could not manage to make a comeback.

“We lost Calvin Kees early in the first quarter to an injury andthat hurt us,” said Burns, referring to his running back. “ButNathaniel Pruski picked up the slack and did a good job running forus.”

Shannon Ratcliff returned the opening kickoff 75 yards to putSalem on the board with a 6-0 lead.

The Wildcats added 2 more touchdowns in the first quarter onruns of 11 and 15-yards by quarterback Garreth Murphy. Rio Davisran both 2-point conversion runs to give the visitors a 22-0lead.

Second-quarter action saw Salem tack on 2 more TDs, on a 8-yardpass from Murphy to Ratcliff and an 8-yard run by Ratcliff.Christian Gilmore hit 1 of 2 PATs to push the Wildcats lead to 35-0at the half.

West Lincoln’s Jeremy Byrd took the third-quarter kickoff andreturned it for an 80-yard touchdown. Tyler Trout’s extra-pointkick was good as the Bears cut the Wildcats lead to 35-7.

Salem added another TD before the end of the third quarter on an18-yard burst by Darecos Socum. Gilmore’s PAT was good and Salemincreased its lead to 42-7.

In the final frame, Davis broke loose for a 70-yard touchdownrun and Gilmore nailed the extra point for a 49-7 lead forSalem.

With 2:34 remaining in the game, Cardell Porter scored on a8-yard run for the Bear’s final TD. Trout’s PAT kick was good andthe Bears trailed 49-14.

Salem added another touchdown with 45 seconds remaining in thegame on a 56-yard run by Davis. Gilmore’s PAT kick was good.

“Our kids were a little down after losing a senior (BrittanyCastillo) this past week,” said Coach Brumfield. “But I am proudthat my guys regained their focus.

“We practiced hard. It showed in the game. We played hard allfour quarters. My guys did not give up because they wanted todedicate this game and this win in her memory.”

Powering the Bears with 24 carries for 146 yards was NathanielPruski. Byrd rushed 7 times for 42 yards followed by Porter with47-yards on 3 carries.

Ratcliff sparked the Wildcats running game with 15 rushes for145 yards. Davis finished with 86 yards on 5 carries.

In the air, Murphy completed 3 of 5 passes for 95 yards. AarionGaines caught 2 passes for 87 yards.

Defensively, Jamie Rushing led West Lincolnwith 8 tackles and 6 solos. Kolby Burris made 7 tackles and 6solos. Burris was ejected from the game.

For Salem, Ratcliff grabbed 8 tackles and 7 assists. Zach Spannfinished with 6 stops.